Belfast Telegraph

Equipment washed ashore may belong to missing Coast Guard helicopter crew

Equipment that may belong to one of the missing crew from a crashed Irish Coast Guard helicopter has been washed ashore.

It is understood items including a helmet and lifejacket were found on Elly beach near Clogher on the Co Mayo coast early on Saturday morning.

Rescue 116 crashed on March 14 with four crew on board after it struck Blackrock Island 12 miles off the coast of Co Mayo.

The bodies of winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith have not been recovered despite months of intensive seabed, surface and shore searches.

Also on board were Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, the commander of the flight who died after being pulled from the sea in the hours after the crash, and Captain Mark Duffy, the co-pilot whose body was taken from the cockpit 12 days later by Navy divers.

An inquiry is trying to determine how Rescue 116 went down.

Ireland's Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) has established that the Sikorsky S-92's internal warning system did not include the 80m (262ft) high rocky outcrop and its working lighthouse in its database.

The search and rescue helicopter crashed after hitting Blackrock Island while coming back from supporting a mission for an injured trawlerman out in the Atlantic.

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